Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mother's Day Sale!

I have decided to run a sale in the Etsy shop so if there's anything you've been holding back on ... use the coupon code Mommy and take an additional 20% off -- yes, even already marked down items. Happy Mothers Day!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WTF is Chalcedony... aside from gorgeous??

Like so many other gemstones and semi-precious stones, the word Chalcedony is more broad than the common usage -- even among jewelry designers. Geologically, it is more of a category than a specific stone. When we talk about Chalcedony as designers, we usually are speaking specifically about a light, translucent, quartzy stone in blues and aquas ... like this:

Hannah Earrings Blue Aqua Chalcedony Oxidized Sterling Silver Chain

But, Agate, Aventurine, Onyx, Chrysoprase, Carnelian ... are all under the umbrella of chalcedony.

From Wikipedia: Chalcedony (play /kælˈsɛdəni/) is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite.[2] These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, while moganite is monoclinic. Chalcedony's standard chemical structure (based on the chemical structure of quartz) is SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide).

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black.

The name "chalcedony" comes from the Latin calcedonius, the word used to translate the Greek word khalkedon, found only once, in the Book of Revelation; according to the OED a connection with the town of Chalcedon in Asia Minor is "very doubtful".[3] There is no reason to assume that the precious stone referred to by this name in the Bible is the same as what is now understood by the name.[4]

Just FYI ...

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's about the color!

I have had 3 people in the last 1 1/2 weeks ask me why some of my turquoise jewelry is more expensive than others. It's all about the color and purity!! When you become accustomed to looking at gems, you can start to recognize the differences little by little. After a few years ... you make a b-line for the good stuff!

With turquoise there are several color ranges that come naturally, and in many mines there are several ranges within the mine. Turquoise ranges from almost pure blue, which most famously comes from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in the southwest USA -- to almost neon green, which is also American, and is referred to as "Mojave Turquoise". The most prized Turquoise has always been the bluest, with the least amount of other minerals showing, (that is the black or brown markings, also called matrix). Second are popping colors of what is more traditionally called "turquoise" (which is a softer blue/green color) -- again, less black or matrix is always more prized.

Now ... don't let that be confused with beauty!! There is no doubt that some heavily patterned turquoise is beautiful. Gorgeous even. One of my absolute favorites is leopardskin turquoise -- but it is not considered jewel quality, and if you know what you're looking at, what makes you go "ahhhh" is the pure blue stuff... And no matter what, you want to see vivacious color.

In essence, if you see turquoise with a very moderate to soft coloration, you know it is lesser quality, and might even be "African Turquoise", which is not even turquoise, but a jasper of another type. Buy it and wear it if you like it, but know why is is less expensive than the good stuff!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

More new listings ...

New Spring/Summer work is here!!

Yesterday I spent 6 hours listing ... listed 12 pieces -- 30 pieces over the last 3 weeks.

I feel that my work is starting to really become "my work". Yes, I make things that cross a lot of "styles". But ... I feel that when you see one of my pieces, you can see that it's mine. Of course, mostly, I sell locally -- and so I do see it around and I hear people talking. But, now, I really feel it as well ... and I'm psyched.

I have listed -- in the last month -- lots of black spinel, chalecedony quartz in wondefrful colors and shapes, sleeping beauty turquoise, orange carnelian, stunning AA grade lapis lazuli and more -- necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Be aware ... my studio still looks like a bead store, so if you see something that you like, and want something a little different, let me know!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


As far as jewelry is concerned, there is nothing more summery than Aqua Blue Chalcedony. I have added several pieces to the collection for Spring and Summer. Here are the Courtney Earrings in Aqua Blue Chalcedony Quartz:

Here are the Hannah Earrings in another summery tone -- this years' must have color -- orange carnelian:

I have started to brighten up, have you??

New photos/New listings

I am very excited to have the bulk of the pieces photographed by my fabulous new photographer, Barbara Talbott. Look at this one:

It's like art.

I've uploaded maybe 10 pieces today and have probably that many to do on Thursday. Stones loaded today -- all purchased in Tucson -- are Lapis, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Tourmilated Quartz, Black Onyx and Garnet

My next phase ... once they're all loaded ... is to contact stores to carry my work. Will begin in DC area if you have any ideas, then will move on to regional areas, so let me know.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lots of new work coming down the pike -- fun and different new designs. I am preparing for Fenton Street Market Spring Bling on April 9. The first EVER Broad Branch Market -- ArtSmart on May 7 in Chevy Chase. The first Ballston Street Market (for me) on May 14. Then my annual Spring Show at Deean's on May 21. It's going to be a fun Spring!! Just a taste; the Karen Necklace:
There's big news in my life. I am resigning my post at ArtSpring. Big time mixed feelings ... but very sure I am doing the right thing. ArtSpring is moving, again, to the old Ceviche space in downtown Silver Spring. (921 Ellsworth Dr., Upper Level). I will still sell my jewelry there, and I think it will be a great space with all the activity that happens on Ellsworth Plaza. Leaving the management of ArtSpring will give me a chance to pursue more avenues for selling my jewelry. I am looking for stores that are a good fit if you know of any ...
Added some beautiful new stones to Etsy shop. Among my favs are these Kyanite earrings:

The richness of the bluie is amazing. And they're very large and dramatic. Sadly, I only bought one strand if these ... already I see the end coming.